Two loved ones of footballer Ched Evans have said they are standing by the convicted rapist because they have “the facts” relating to his “innocence” and believe his denouncers have “not looked into the case properly”.
Natasha Massey, Evans’ girlfriend, and his sister, Kylie, appeared on ITV’s This Morning to defend the Sheffield United striker following his 2012 conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room, who was considered too drunk to give her consent.
He was sentenced to five years in prison in April of that year and is due to be released soon after serving half that time, leading to a ferocious debate over whether the 25-year-old should be allowed to return to his club or not.
Speaking on television this morning, Massey said: “The cheating that was private and we dealt with that at the time.
“And then through the court I honestly hand on heart never thought he would get a guilty. Then the day Ched got a guilty there was no way I was going to leave him because like I say I knew the facts way before the jury, way before the public and I know Ched is innocent.
“I understand that he was convicted by a jury of 12 people and of course I love him and I’ll continue to stand by him.”
She also said that she can trust him “100 per cent”.
Kylie, Ched’s sister, told Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden that she now takes guilty verdicts with a pinch of salt.
“Before this happened to Ched, maybe I would have seen a headline of ‘someone was found guilty’ and believed it but then I wouldn’t have given it a second thought, I would have just carried on.
“Whereas now, because this has happened to Ched and we know what he’s been through and what we’ve been through, then I wouldn’t just assume that just because someone was found guilty that they were guilty.”
According to the Mirror, she added that some people who have “not looked into the case properly” have apologised afterwards for signing a petition calling on the footballer to be banned from his club.
The online petition, Refuse to reinstate Ched Evans as a player at Sheffield United, has so far gathered over 140,000 signatures,
“What I do know is that Ched would love to return to football and continue doing what he does best and what he loves,” Massey added.
Their comments come a day after veteran presenter Judy Finnigan came under fire for saying that Evans should be allowed to return to his previous job because he had “served his time” and the rape was "not violent".Reuse content